Album review: SHINING BLACK


Frontiers Records [Release date 10.07.20]

For afficionados, these are instantly recognisable protagonists. Shining Black matches up Mark Boals, a gun for hire vocalist, with the perhaps lesser known Olaf Thorsen, guitarist with Labyrinth and Vision Divine.

It plays out along conventional melodic metal lines… every song has the air of familiarity that genre fans expect, with Boals and Thorsen executing their chosen roles with precision and grace.

In fairness, Boals is a much better vocalist than his “I sang with Yngwie”, and “Raiding The Rock Vaults” in Vegas credentials suggest. He has a remarkable, 3 octave range, which on its own suggests he could find a place in the vanguard of any rock genre. He is a ringer for Joseph (Toto) Williams on ‘Boogeyman’s higher registers… avoiding the harshness of tone we hear from so many others in the genre.

But throughout the album, he is never less than impressive. He approaches the fever pitch of confrontational intensity that “Where Are Your Gods’ needs in much the same artistic/ professional manner as he does on ‘The Day We Said Goodbye’s relatively sotto voce moments.

‘My Life’ stands out, not just because it’s a cracking song, but because it cuts against the album’s stylistic grain, putting the emphasis on “melodic”, rather than “metal”.

And ‘The Carousel’ and ‘House Of Fallen Souls’ search vividly and enthusiastically (and very tunefully) for the spark that will set the music alight, without ever quite making it.

That said, ‘We Fall’, a fast unfolding melodic metal epic, wrings maximum drama from an “end of the world as we know it” lyric, and closes the album in fitting style, reminding us that we need to act, and act fast.  ***1/2

Review by Brian McGowan

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 July.. In the first hour David pays tribute to the blues/rock guitarist Peter Green.

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 3 August (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 LIONVILLE Magic Is Alive (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 MAD MAX Stormchild Rising (SPV)
14:00-16:00 MARY COUGHLAN Life Stories (2020)

Power Plays w/c 3 August (Mon-Fri)

SOUTH OF SALEM Cold Day In Hell (indie)
BLACK LESION Sins (indie)
CAROLINE JONES All Of The Boys (Social Family Records)
BLACK SUN Resist (Rockshot Records)
THE JAILBIRDS Dull My Brain (Golden Robot Records)
FROM ASHES TO NEW Scars That I’m Hiding (Better Noise Records)
THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS Spirit Of A Workin’ Man (Mascot)

Email This Page
This entry was posted in ALBUM REVIEWS, ALBUM REVIEWS (Mobile), All Posts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply